With every piece of troubling news about our changing environment that comes to life, more and more people are starting to take it seriously. It’s now painfully clear that if we want to leave a better world for our children, we’ve got to start impacting real, daily change. And people are making that concern heard by voting with their dollars. The movement towards environmental sustainability has now become loud enough that major corporations are beginning to listen. It’s not enough for eco-conscious consumers to have recycled paper towels and crops grown with minimal chemical processing. People now want to live in green houses, and drive low-consumption automobiles. A couple of large manufacturers have released hybrid or electric vehicles over the past decade, and the Prius has certainly gained wide popularity. But there aren’t any stand-out green vehicles in the luxury market. But with a new partnership recently announced, that may be about to change. Apparently, Toyota and BMW are partnering up to expand their environmentally friendly offerings.
Both Toyota Motors and BMW have expanded well beyond their home countries to become truly international brands. Toyota sells more cars than almost any other company in the world. And according to a report released on Monday, BMW and Toyota are expanding their relationship to develop advanced fuel-cell vehicle and hybrid technology. The two auto manufacturers had previously announced a business and research relationship, but apparently a new announcement will come out of Germany later this week, declaring an expansion of that deal. The top execs from both companies will be present for the announcement.
Apparently, Toyota and BMW will partner on a joint research process, with the goal of rolling out the next generation of lithium ion batteries. They had been working on electric vehicle technology, but this new battery focus will expand their relationship into dealing with fuel cell and hybrid vehicles that work on a combination of gas and electric power. It is a momentous development. Toyota, with its industry leading Prius fleet, have dominated this market, due mostly to their cutting edge fuel-cell technology. Toyota’s batteries are powered by hydrogen, and they have never shared that technology with another automotive manufacturer.
How exactly this partnership will materialize on the roads of the world remains to be seen. Toyota was asked to confirm this announcement, and they’ve yet to comment. But it certainly won’t be a one-sided relationship. BMW does a masterful job at manufacturing light bodies for their vehicles, made from a unique carbon fiber. The lighter the vehicle body, the better the vehicle’s efficiency when it comes to fuel consumption. So the implications are clear.
BMW and Toyota had been working primarily on engines under their previous arrangement, with BMW sharing their diesel engine technology. Over 50% of the cars driven in Europe run on diesel fuel, and Toyota was looking to improve their sales on that continent. One thing for sure is that car aficionados everywhere will be eagerly anticipating the fruits of this joint labor, all but ready to head to http://www.boston-ge.com/ and figure out how to add charging stations to their garages.
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